Enjoy the 151st Belmont Stakes with these champion cigar recommendations and New York-inspired food and drinks!
The 151st Belmont Stakes, the third and final leg of the Triple Crown, takes place on June 8th in Belmont, NY, just east of Queens. Justify won the Triple Crown at 150th Belmont Stakes, the 2nd horse to do so in 4 years. Will there be another Triple Crown winner this year? Nope, not gonna happen. Meanwhile, I’m planning my cigar line up for the “Test of Champions”.
#1. The expertly rolled Undercrown Maduro by Drew Estate is a medium-bodied cigar with a unique blend of Sun Grown Habano binder and Brazilian Mata Fina and Nicaraguan Habano filler then wrapped in a dark San Andreas Maduro Negra wrapper. Undercrown Maduro has notes of coffee, hints of spice and licorice that intensifies as the cigar develops.
#2. The Macanudo Hyde Park Café is a 3-country Robusto blend sporting a golden brown Connecticut Shade wrapper along with Dominican fillers and binder from San Andres, Mexico. The result is a mild, smooth smoke with a flavor profile of creamy vanilla and sweet spice.
#3. Montecristo Classic #3 is a blend of the highest-grade Connecticut shade wrappers and specially aged Dominican binder and long filler tobaccos. The very smooth smoke has a savory nuttiness with a hint of coffee with cream. Montecristo Classic pairs perfectly with a premium craft brew.
#4. A Padrón cigar has been named a record “Cigar of the Year” three times. Padrón Serie 1926 is a blend of premium 5-year-old Nicaraguan tobaccos with either a Natural or Maduro wrapper. Right out of the gate, Padrón Serie 1926 is a “Triple Crown Winner”. After your horse finishes first, celebrate with a glass of bubbly. Perrier Jouet Belle Époque 2008 is an ideal match to a premium aged Padrón 1926 cigar. The champagne’s soft body is graceful, crisp and complex. A pairing this pronounced needn’t be presumptuous.
What better way to stay in an Empire State of Mind than by bringing some of New York's finest food and drink to the table at your Race Day party? You can keep it simple by serving hot dogs with sauerkraut, pastrami on rye with mustard or even New York style pizza from your favorite pizza shop. Serve craft brews from New York such as Coney Island and Rockaway. Threes Brewing Co. of Brooklyn won the Governor's Excelsior Cup for the best beer in New York state.
Here are some simple recipes for Racing Day for you to try:
This is the official cocktail of the Belmont Stakes.
1.5 Woodford Reserve Bourbon
2 oz. Lemon juice
1 oz. Pomegranate juice
Lemon wedge for garnish
Shake vigorously with ice and serve in a cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon.
Smoked Salmon Spread
8 ounces cream cheese softened
1/2 cup Sour cream
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
6 ounces smoked salmon- flaked
2 green onions- diced
1 heaping tablespoon dill- chopped
Add all ingredients to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix for a minute or so until incorporated. Serve with bagel chips, fresh vegetables or baguette slices.
Grilled Margherita Pizza
4 Flour tortillas (8 inches)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 ½ cups Fresh mozzarella balls sliced
1 cup sliced plum or cherry tomatoes
Preheat the grill over high heat.
Lightly brush one side of the tortilla with olive oil and place it on a cutting board.
Top tortillas with cheese and tomatoes. Drizzle with additional olive oil.
Carefully slide the tortilla (using a spatula to help) onto the grill and immediately lower the heat to medium.
Cook about 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted.
Sprinkle with basil and devour!
Enjoy the race!
View more great cigar recommendations and buy cigars online at El Cigar Shop!